90,000 Australian drivers have signed a petition to make cyclists ride in single file -- here's why

Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Cyclists versus drivers. It’s a rivalry as old as Sydney versus Melbourne.

A petition created four months ago, calling for a change in road rules that affects how cyclists ride on the road, has now pulled in more than 90,000 signatures.

This Change.org petition called “Compulsory Single File for Cyclists” calls on transport ministers to change the current law for cyclists in a bike lane to ride in single file, rather than the current rule of two across.

The Drivers For Registration of Cyclists group started the petition claiming that cyclists are “spilling into main traffic lanes and impeding traffic flow”.

“We are tired of the safety hazards such cyclists present, and we are tired of being we’re told we’re bad drivers if we complain about this problem.”

The petition includes this infographic that shows the “Drivers For Registration of Cyclists” gripes’ about the current road rules.


They also request that cyclists be banned on roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h without a bike lane.

The petition was created even before a new rule was passed requiring drivers to have a 1 metre gap between a cyclist and their car when passing under 60km/h, which the group claims creates a hazard for the driver against oncoming traffic on the other side of the road. The distance is upped to 1.5 metres when travelling over 60km/h.

Drivers who break this law face a penalty of $330 and two demerit points.

Speaking to news.com.au, Bicycle NSW communications director Kim Lavender said that riding two abreast is safer than a single file.

“It means you are taking up less length on the road so it is easier to for cars to overtake. It reduces it down to two metres of overtaking as opposed to three or more if riders were in a single file.”

She also said riders in a wider group can be seen more easily by motorists.

Morning TV show host Karl Stefanovic has joined in the argument, defending cyclists and blasting the group.

“I don’t understand why they (motorists) are so angry,” he said. “Cyclists are doing their own thing, they are great for the environment — making their own way to a place.

“I am actually sick of the war between drivers and cyclists. Cyclists don’t do anything wrong. They are fine out there on the roads and doing their bit, trying to be fit, healthy, good for the environment.”

“It is drivers out there. It is drivers out there who are impatient and who are running and endangering cyclist’s lives. I am sick of it.”

The petition says that problems are created when cyclists ignore the bike lanes and ride on the road, and shared this image on their Facebook page of several cyclists riding in the middle of the lane.

The petition says “We… believe our money is being wasted every time an expensive bike lane is built on a main road in circumstances where cyclists ignore such infrastructure as a matter of routine behaviour.”

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